Astronoesis -- Class Summary

Monday, August 24, 2014:

Started “Powers Intrinsic to Soul”, pp. 187-90.  This included discussion centering on Enneads IV. 3. 30 which is referenced in a margin note.  Astronoesis: “The state of Thought has passed to that of Image.”  Anthony liked the Guthrie translation of Plotinus in this instance: “Reason develops it [viz. indivisible thought evoked from the depths of intelligence] and making it pass from the state of thought to that of image, spreads it out as it were in a mirror, for our imagination.”  This helps make the ‘hidden teaching’ of Plato in Timaeus more transparent.

Monday, August 11, 2014:

Page 186: Simultaneity of unity and multiplicity in Soul.  Plotinus’ teaching “will appear paradoxical if we have decided beforehand that Soul cannot be both… [one and many] in its graded powers.”  Commenting on V. 1. 2, Anthony continues: “Exceeding the bounds of belief, he [Plotinus] describes each individual ‘I AM’ as omnipresent and as indivisible in its unity.  As indivisible it manifests the entire heavenly system as a unit within itself.”  The experience thereof defies verbal description.


Monday, August 4, 2014:

Pages 184-86: Individual or Unit Souls; our 4th week on this material involving the ‘mixture’ of universal and individual.  Anthony refers to IV.2.2: “He [Plotinus] has already pointed out what is required in order to understand Soul; his words will appear paradoxical if he have decided beforehand that Soul cannot be both a one or unity and ‘multipresent’ in its graded powers.”  This follows a citation from IV.3.5 where we read: “…the many founded in that one (soul), on the analogy of the Intellectual-Principle;….”  What is the meaning of ‘analogy’ in this context?


Monday, July 28, 2014:

Continued reading and discussion of pp. 184-86: Individual or Unit Souls.  Still working on this section of the text; this week, the third, bringing new facets to light which we hadn’t considered previously.  How are we to understand the mixture of universal and individual?  How is this depicted in the chart?  Is the Mercurial or Asmita aspect of individual soul present in the Nous?


Monday, July 14, 2014:

Reading and discussion of pp. 184-86: Individual or Unit Souls.  Key ideas: the “issuing phase” of Absolute Soul is the Mercurial or Asmita aspect of individual soul at all levels within Universal Soul; the I AM principle is in inward contemplation of the Ideas.  The term Asmita should be considered in relation to the terms WITNESS-I and I AM.


Monday, July 7, 2014:

Reading and discussion of pp. 182-83: Universal Soul.  “Two aspects of Demiurgic activity have to be considered in producing the ground-plan or sketch of universal manifestation: the Ideas and the power necessary to actualize them.”  This section of the text addresses the symbolism of Jupiter [Zeus, Demiurge, Order] in the chart, especially in Sagittarius and Picies.


Monday, June 16, 2014:

Reading and discussion of “Absolute Soul” (pp. 180-181), which is intimately related to the symbolism inherent in the geometric work we are doing in Timaeus class.  Discussion centered around the idea of the double act.  “Flowing from the Life Supreme ̶ the Source and Principle ̶ is Absolute Soul, life emanated and simultaneously determined by and as Intellectual-Principle.  We have this important distinction to consider at the onset ̶ Soul as an aspect of the transcendent Nature of the One, and Soul as the Absolute Life of the Intellectual-Principle.  Life essence is thus required by the One, and goes forth from it just as the Intellectual-Principle does. There is a reciprocal and mutual determination on the part of each.”


Monday, June 9, 2014:

Reading and discussion of Editor’s Endnote 36, “First Four Planets in the Soul Ring,” which is referenced in the Soul Chapter in the Section titled “Diagrams of Levels of Soul,” subsection “Soul in the One,”  and again in subsection “Absolute Soul.” 

Two salient quotes:

 “We may view Soul according to the number 3, as related to the three thirds of the circle.  In this view Saturn in Cancer completes the first third of the Soul ring, in which the Being of Soul is established.”

“With the four detriment dignities in houses 1-4, Venus in Aries, Mars in Taurus, Jupiter in Gemini, Saturn in Cancer, we have a view of the intrinsic nature of Soul as a living essence.  It is now able to be permeated by the Ideas in the Nous.”